WSU HOOPS

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Let the consternation end?

Posted by Jeff Nusser on February 26, 2008

As we mentioned before, Tony Bennett is likely to be a hot coaching candidate in the offseason. However, the writer who covers the team closest — the Spokesman-Review’s Vince Grippi — has a feeling Bennett’s not going anywhere:

I know, I said I wouldn’t get into this until later, and I’m not going to, in any depth. But during the last couple weeks, conversations that have occurred lead me to believe coach Bennett is planning on staying here for a long time. There is more to do here, there is a new class coming in, there are seniors that are close to him, there is an affinity for Pullman and WSU, all things that will work to keep him here for a while. At least that’s how I read the tea leaves. And I’ve misread them before. But that’s my prediction. He’ll be back.

If you’re looking for a column with a little less good old fashioned journalism and a little more logic, check out this one from Bud Withers. I agree with both of them. There is more work to be done, and that means something to Tony.

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13 Responses to “Let the consternation end?”

  1. Ptowncoug said

    I don’t think IU will pursue Tony and Tony will not be interested in the IU job. What will be interesting to see what coach takes the IU job, as that spot may be the one that TB is sought to fill.
    I honestly thought TB would be here for at least 2 seasons. However after Rochestie gave up his scholly, I think TB has one last season for Forrest, Baynes and Rochestie.
    Don’t get me wrong I would like to keep him, but this isn’t BSU or the Zags, those teams dominate their conference and WSU just isn’t in the position to compete for a title year-in, year-out in the Pac-10.

  2. MikeR said

    You raise a good point with the Rochestie angle. The guy will be paying his way through school next year for the betterment of the program, and I just can’t imagine Tony saying, “Hey Taylor, thanks again for doing that — see ya!”

    If Tony does stay for next year, it’ll be interesting to see what role his newest recruiting class will play. If they look like studs early on, that could certainly help convince him to stick around even longer.

  3. Longball said

    I think anyone who is 100% sure Tony is staying either wasnt around for Raveling, Erickson, Sampson, Price, or doesnt remember (and how about Sherril and Co. in the 70’s). I get a laugh out of all the people on the forums crowing about Tony being a man of integrety, loyal, loves Pullman, blah blah. Since when has any of that crap mattered at all to any college coach? Since when has any coach said, “well this place is ok, but i am going to take the first better offer i get”. The fact that Tony wont comment on it is confirmation he is considdering it. The refusal to comment is NOT committment, people, wake up. If there was speculation that another woman was going to lure you away from you wife, would you say “I am just not going to comment on that right now”? Pa-lease. I am not saying he is getting, or taking an offer from IU, but he would definately give it strong considderation. Keep in mind too, IU is not going to be the last job opening this year, or any other ever in college basketball. I think we should all quit taking tokes off the “Tony is a man of integrety who would never leave us” pipe and start bracing for the inevitable.

    Now I am not one of those people who scoff at the concept of loyalty. I believe in it, and i believe those who turn their backs on the programs that love them are playing Russian roulette with their Karma. Mike Price, Kelvin Sampson, and others have played that game and lost (watch out Rich Rodriguez!). With that said i think Tony DOES owe us a few more years, if not a career. We gave his dad and him a sweet, sweet deal to kick start his career. Taylor Rochestie has given up his schollie to help land a player Tony needs. A school with the most meager means in almost any major conference has ponied up unprecedented cash for him and his staff. Tony can easily land a MEGA profile job sometime in his career and perhaps join the pantheon of great coaches at said institution, or he could make his career here where he would BE the pantheon, himself. I think it would be a high reward, with virtually no risk. If he did set up shop like Joe Pa, the Cougar nation would reward him handsomely. Maybe not with the cash equivilent of other jobs, but definately all the other things “men of integrety” are supposed to considder as much, or more than the almighty dollar (and we certainly will keep him off wellfare).

    While i think Tony SHOULD stay, i admit that years of following college sports has made me far too cynical to believe that words like integrety, loyalty, etc. carry more weight than $$$$$ and “prestige” that larger prgrams offer. I would love for Tony to be an exception to that rule, but to say I’m not getting my hopes up is a understatemnt.

  4. Longball said

    I promise in the future to spell check before i hit submit. That comment reads like Balki Bartokomous from Perfect Strangers wrote it.

  5. Ptowncoug said

    Longball you know that I’m going to disagree on MP. He owed us nothing. He put in the time, plus he kept what most people believe was a strong foundation in Doba and Levy in place. Hey Levy’s still around isn’t he? Bennett doesn’t even have an established successor to leave around. MP’s leaving was not comparable to Erickson, Sampson or Raveling.
    My point is that there are a number of factors (Rochestie scholly, IU’s punishment) that won’t have TB running for the IU job even if offered! Sure the increase in the amount of money would be nice, but why go to a program that will likely be banned from the NCAA tourney, which will result in these spoiled IU fans looking for some sort of results such as a Big 10 crown.
    Give me a coach that has signed with a big time program that is about to get hammered by the NCAA. Maybe there is one, I don’t recall any.
    My concern is that Lute hangs it up and Oneill doesn’t get hired. Now that scares me.

  6. Nuss said

    Thad Matta at Ohio State. As a result of the Jim O’Brien fiasco, they banned themselves from the Tournament for his first year after coming over from Xavier, which he knew going in. Of course it worked out pretty well in the end when a couple of guys named Conley and Oden showed up …

  7. Nuss said

    Oh, and O’Neill has already been named the successor, whenever Lute officially hangs it up.

  8. Longball said

    Ptown – i agree Price “owed us nothing”, but he did leave the program that loved him for a program that didnt and he got burned. Fact is, in Pullman he could have slept with the whole cast of Showgirls on the 50 yard line of Martin Stadium and nobody would have raised a peep about it. But you;re right, he owes us nothing, and i believe we owe him at least the field in his name or something.

    One thing about inheriting a job under sanctions, a la Thad Matta at tOSU, is it serves to temper expectations.

  9. Longball said

    Looks like Harmeling is on crutches for an ankle sprain according to the forums.

  10. Joe said

    Hey Jeff:

    Nice name drop by Go2Guy in his column.

  11. Nuss said

    Hey! Whaddayaknow!

  12. Ptowncoug said

    Nuss:
    Thanks for the coach name, and that’s my pt. No coach goes to a program w/o knowing what the outcome will be and that will not be known until late July or August after the NCAA’s June decision because of appeals.
    I think there are a number of reasons why you may go to team once you know what you are getting into, but its plain idiotic to jump prior.
    IU is essentially locking themselves into their interim coach for another year because of how this went down. If they would have handled this in Oct the situation could have been different.

  13. […] thoughts on this haven’t changed at all — which I wrote about here and was written about here — and neither have those of anyone close to the program. So relax, […]

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